The Wildcats improved to .500 on the season with last weekend’s win. (Kristina Sumfleth/The Villanovan)
by Olivia Wilson
The Men’s soccer team shut out Stony Brook University SeaWolves on their own turf this Sunday, with the final score of 1-0.
The Wildcats are now 2-2-1. If they keep on pace with this type of play, then the Wildcats might be looking at a playoff bid this season.
Stony Brook and Villanova don’t have a long history together in terms of soccer.
Villanova is 2-0 all time. That doesn’t mean that there is no rivalry going on behind the scenes.
Both teams are about even on the field in terms of talent. Stony Brook has a reputation of playing hard, as does Villanova. This made for a very intense game this past Sunday.
The SeaWolves came out on the offensive early on, trying to score as quickly as possible.
They had two chances within the first 20 minutes of the game. Stony Brook had a free kick in the 11th minute of play.
While they tried to attempt a header for the goal, junior goalie Andrew Weakly stopped the ball dead in its tracks.
This followed a defensive kick that directed the ball towards Villanova’s goal.
“There were some half-chances,” ’Nova Head Coach Tom Carlin told Villanova.com. “Both teams were creating and pushing the play and I thought there were some dangerous moments for both teams. Our backline and keeper answered the call for us, though.”
Villanova outshot Stony Brook 10-9. Shots on goal, however, were even at 3-3.
The winning goal for the Wildcats did not come until late in the game.
In the 76th minute of play, ’Nova successfully scored off of a corner kick.
Junior midfielder Oscar Umar laid the ball out very close to the goal line, where junior midfielder Hayden Harr headed the ball straight into the net.
“We spotted a space on tape that we thought we could exploit,” Carlin said to Villanova.com. “That’s all well and good, but now you’ve got to go out and execute it and our guys did a great job of that. Hayden made a great run and the serve by Oscar was perfect.”
The Wildcats had another reason to celebrate this win. Stony Brook has not lost a non-conference game at home in almost two years.
The last game they lost was September 15, 2011 against Sacred Heart.
If the ’Cats weren’t rivals with Stony Brook before, they definitely made themselves a potentially new one after this weekend.
“Nobody can forget what happened in (New Mexico),” said sophomore midfielder Chris Hill.
And it’s true. He thinks that this has been their motivation to keep pushing through the season. Villanova has bounced back well from the loss to the Lobos.
The Wildcats have come a long way from their road trip at the beginning of the season.
Hopefully their experiences from their road games can bring out the best in them for the long run.
The Wildcats are gearing up for their next game against the Temple University Owls, which will occur on Saturday, Sept. 21st.
This game will definitely show the ’Cats their weaknesses, if they don’t know them already. Temple has a tough team and attacks anywhere they see an opening.
The ’Cats have a couple days to get ready. It should be a fight to the finish between these two.